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FourScore

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Tom Tomorrow Cartoon: Lessons learned

Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 07:00 AM PST
Cartoon: Lessons learned
by Tom Tomorrow




http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/08/1349706/-Cartoon-Lessons-learned

When I asked my mother if Santa was real, she just smiled joyously and said,

"Santa is real, if you believe he is real."

When I asked if she was Santa, she just laughed, and said, "Do I look like Santa?" I knew she was.

Still, I love that she let me hold on to the fantasy a little longer. I came from a big family, and we didn't have a lot of money growing up. But Christmas morning was always magic. I never felt betrayed. Or lied to. I felt loved. Santa came every year until the last child was gone. Then, he started coming for the next generation of children.

To the author of the OP, my advice would be this: Don't spoil the fun. Not for you and not for your child. They'll figure it out on their own. And being Santa really is magical.

MUST READ: "IT'S ABOUT WHITE RAGE."

This is an opinion column that was written back in August. Excellent article.

Opinions
Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress.
By Carol Anderson August 29

Carol Anderson is an associate professor of African American studies and history at Emory University and a public voices fellow with the Op-Ed Project. She is the author of “Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960.”



On Aug. 17, police in Ferguson, Mo., wait to advance after using tear gas to disperse a crowd protesting the shooting death of Michael Brown. (Charlie Riedel/Associated Press)


When we look back on what happened in Ferguson, Mo., during the summer of 2014, it will be easy to think of it as yet one more episode of black rage ignited by yet another police killing of an unarmed African American male. But that has it precisely backward. What we’ve actually seen is the latest outbreak of white rage. Sure, it is cloaked in the niceties of law and order, but it is rage nonetheless.

Protests and looting naturally capture attention. But the real rage smolders in meetings where officials redraw precincts to dilute African American voting strength or seek to slash the government payrolls that have long served as sources of black employment. It goes virtually unnoticed, however, because white rage doesn’t have to take to the streets and face rubber bullets to be heard. Instead, white rage carries an aura of respectability and has access to the courts, police, legislatures and governors, who cast its efforts as noble, though they are actually driven by the most ignoble motivations.

White rage recurs in American history. It exploded after the Civil War, erupted again to undermine the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision and took on its latest incarnation with Barack Obama’s ascent to the White House. For every action of African American advancement, there’s a reaction, a backlash...

SNIP

...So when you think of Ferguson, don’t just think of black resentment at a criminal justice system that allows a white police officer to put six bullets into an unarmed black teen. Consider the economic dislocation of black America. Remember a Florida judge instructing a jury to focus only on the moment when George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin interacted, thus transforming a 17-year-old, unarmed kid into a big, scary black guy, while the grown man who stalked him through the neighborhood with a loaded gun becomes a victim. Remember the assault on the Voting Rights Act. Look at Connick v. Thompson, a partisan 5-4 Supreme Court decision in 2011 that ruled it was legal for a city prosecutor’s staff to hide evidence that exonerated a black man who was rotting on death row for 14years. And think of a recent study by Stanford University psychology researchers concluding that, when white people were told that black Americans are incarcerated in numbers far beyond their proportion of the population, “they reported being more afraid of crime and more likely to support the kinds of punitive policies that exacerbate the racial disparities,” such as three-strikes or stop-and-frisk laws...


http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ferguson-wasnt-black-rage-against-copsit-was-white-rage-against-progress/2014/08/29/3055e3f4-2d75-11e4-bb9b-997ae96fad33_story.html

St. Louis Rams Come Out with 'Hands Up, Don't Shoot' Salute

Sun Nov 30, 2014 at 04:09 PM PST
St. Louis Rams Come Out with 'Hands Up, Don't Shoot' Salute
by joelal



While taking the field today to play the Oakland Raiders, several St. Louis Rams players decided to mimic the 'Hands Up, Don't Shoot' gesture used by many protesters since the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in nearby Ferguson, Mo. in August.

Despite winning the game, 52-0, the Rams find themselves at the receiving end of fury from many in the fan base as evidenced by some of the comments posted at their Facebook page. This could be the most significant political statement made at a major sporting event since the 'Black Power' salute at the 1968 Sumner Olympics.



http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/30/1348465/-St-Louis-Rams-Come-Out-with-Hands-Up-Don-t-Shoot-Salute

Cleveland policeman chases and apprehends boy with BB gun

Sun Nov 30, 2014 at 04:21 AM PST
Cleveland policeman chases and apprehends boy with BB gun
by august88

On May 21, 2014, Cleveland police received reports of a man pointing a rifle at cars on Superior Avenue on Cleveland's East side. Officer Aaron Reese responded and gave chase on foot. Fortunately, the outcome for the boy and the patrolman is much different than is was for Tamir Rice and rookie officer Timothy Loehmann.

Superior Ave. and East 86th Street is located in a rough neighborhood on Cleveland's East side. According to news accounts I've seen over the past several years, that area is rife with gang activity.

Last May 21st Patrolman Aaron Reese received a call from Cleveland police dispatch that a man was observed pointing a rifle at motorists traveling on Superior Ave. near East 86th Street. When he arrived at the scene he exited his patrol car and approached the man who immediately fled. Officer Reese radioed in to dispatch as he gave chase:

“Send me another car, 86 and Superior, I have a male running north bound with a rifle.”

As he was running he yelled to the man to get down and to drop the weapon. The man stopped and followed the patrolman's orders. As Officer Reese was placing handcuffs on the suspect he noticed that the man's wrists were quite small. He then realized that he was dealing with a child.

Once the boy was apprehended and secured, Officer Reese inspected the rifle and discovered that it was a BB gun. He radioed in:

“Radio it was a BB gun, I’m OK,” and Cleveland dispatch relayed the information to the other units en route to the scene to assist with the dangerous situation. http://fox8.com/2014/11/28/boy-with-bb-gun-writes-apology-to-cleveland-police/

Officer Reese took the boy home to his parents who were unaware that he had been carrying a BB gun on Cleveland's streets. As they talked with the boy they learned that the BB gun belonged to his brother's friend.

Police decided not to file criminal charges against the boy but they wanted him to understand just how dangerous his actions were. He was ordered to write a letter telling them what he had learned from the incident. http://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archives/2014/11/28/heres-how-cleveland-police-handled-a-bb-gun-incident-in-may

The boy wrote:

“I was stupid to have a BB gun that looks real enough to may have been shot and killed by anyone who saw or carried a real gun ... I was also stupid to walk down the main street with it. I should have just kept it with my brother’s friend and shouldn’t have touched it at all. Even though I was walking, I was thinking in my head what if I get caught also what if I get killed. I am sincerely sorry for having the gun.”


Officer Reese was obviously relieved because when he first arrived at the scene he thought the weapon was a 22 caliber rifle.

Comparison to the shooting of Tamir Rice last week reveals a striking difference in the approach taken by the responding Cleveland Police officer(s), the suspect and the outcome. First, Officer Aaron Reese has been a Cleveland police officer for 5 years (1), having begun as a dispatcher at the age of 17 and having worked for the Ohio Department of Public Safety-Ohio Investigative Unit, the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Police Department, and the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office (1). Second, and probably more importantly, he is active in the Cleveland Police Athletic League, coaching, mentoring and tutoring Cleveland youth. He understands what the kids in his district face growing up because he is involved in the community. Third, Officer Reese arrived at the site alone in his patrol car.

The last observation is not advocating for single-officer patrols, which had been an issue with Cleveland Police and the administration in years past, but rather it speaks to the self-confidence of Officer Reese as well as the regard his superiors and colleagues have for the experienced patrolman. And as the community has now learned, the maturity and wisdom of Officer Reese in his handling of a potentially dangerous situation has produced a markedly different result than the unfortunate outcome of a similar incident involving a Cleveland youth and an Air-Soft pellet gun just last week.

Officer Reese was also recognized by the students at Cleveland State University as an asset to the campus community last year. He was featured in an article in the Campus District Observer, a neighborhood newspaper owned by The Campus District, Inc. whose members include Cleveland State University, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland Public Library, The Plain Dealer and a number of other public and private organizations and businesses. The article about Officer Aaron Reese can be found at this link: What We Love in the District - Aaron Reese

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/30/1348376/-Cleveland-policeman-chases-and-apprehends-boy-with-BB-gun

GOP Columnist: The VERY Bad News FOR THE GOP in the GOP's Midterm Victory

Thu Nov 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM PST
GOP Columnist: The VERY Bad News FOR THE GOP in the GOP's Midterm Victory
by murphthesurf

A GOP strategist, columnist at the Houston Chronicle who goes by the handle GOPLifer, Chris Ladd, has declared that the week of the Midterm Elections “was a dark week for Republicans, and for everyone who wants to see America remain the world’s most vibrant, most powerful nation.” What the HELL! Where was he?

In a careful analysis, Ladd builds a case: The Midterms of 2014 demonstrate the continuation of a 20 year old trend. Republicans are disappearing from the competitive landscape at the national level where the population is the largest utilizing a declining electoral base of waging, white, and rural voters. As a result no GOP candidate on the horizon has a chance at the White House in 2016 and the chance of holding the Senate beyond 2016 is vanishingly small.

The author points to the Blue Wall.

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The Blue Wall is a block of states that no Republican Presidential candidate can realistically hope to win. On Election Day that block added New Hampshire to its number and Virginia is shifting At the outset of any Presidential campaign, a minimally effective Democratic candidate can expect to win 257 electoral votes out of the 270 needed to win. If Virginia joins New Hampshire that number will be 270 out of 270.

To win a GOP candidate has to win all nine “tossup” state and one solidly Blue state.
Thus, in the next, and into the foreseeable future, Presidential elections will be decided in the Democratic Primary. What are the chances that a Republican candidate capable of appealing to the increasingly right wing GOP will appeal to enough Democrats to win in tossup and Blue states?

But what about that RED Map….well it accounts for 149 electoral votes. The biggest Republican victory in decades did not move the map. What was Red before in electoral politics is still Red (and maybe less Red considering NH and VA).

Republican support grew deeper in 2014, not broader.

Some other observations
a) Republican Senate candidates lost every single race in the Blue Wall.

b) There were some GOP victories in Governor’s races, but in each case there were no coat tails. None of these candidates ran on social issues, Obama, or opposition to the ACA. Look at Rauner who took out Quinn in Illinois, but Democrats in Illinois retained their supermajority in the State Assembly having not lost a single seat.

c) Voter turnout was awful. It was more awful for the Democrats but the GOP won 52 percent of 35 percent of the vote: in other words their mandate is 17 percent of the registered electorate (and 13 percent of those eligible to vote).

d) Good news for the Democrats: They have consolidated their power behind the sections of the country that generate the overwhelming bulk of America’s wealth outside the energy industry.

e) Voter suppression is working remarkably well, but that won’t last. They key is voter ID. Eventually Democrats will top whining and will help people get the documentation they need to meet confusing new requirements and obstructions. The whole “voter integrity” sham may have given Republicans a one or maybe two-election boost in low-turnout races, but the message to minority (but growing) groups is clear. We GOP don’t give a damn about you.

f) Every major Democratic ballot initiative was successful, including every minimum wage increase, even in the red states. AND every personhood amendment failed.

g) Half of the Republican Congressional delegation now comes from the former Confederacy. There are no more white Democrats from the South. All of the Dixiecrats are now GOP.

h) Democrats in 2014 were up against a particularly tough climate because they had to defend 13 Senate seats in red or purple states. In 2016 Republicans will be defending 24 Senate seats with at least 18 of them very competitive based on geography and demographics. Democrats will be one seat looks competitive.

i) McConnell’s conciliatory statements were encouraging, but he cannot persuade Republican Senators and Congressmen to cooperate on anything constructive.

j) This is an age built for Republican solutions. The global economy is undergoing a massive, accelerating transformation that promises massive new wealth and staggering challenges. Ladd say that the GOP could address a this with heads-up, intelligent adaptations to capitalize on those challenges. Republicans, with their traditional leadership on commercial issues, he claims, should be at the leading edge of planning to capitalize on this emerging environment.

k) Instead, he predicts, what the GOP will spend its time on is: Climate denial, theocracy, thinly veiled racism, paranoia, and Benghazi hearings.

He closes his essay saying: “It is almost too late for Republicans to participate in shaping the next wave of our economic and political transformation. The opportunities we inherited coming out of the Reagan Era are blinking out of existence one by one while we chase so-called “issues” so stupid, so blindingly disconnected from our emerging needs that our grandchildren will look back on our performance in much the same way that we see the failures of the generation that fought desegregation. Something, some force, some gathering of sane, rational, authentically concerned human beings generally at peace with reality must emerge in the next four to six years from the right, or our opportunity will be lost for a long generation. Needless to say, Greg Abbott and Jodi Ernst are not that force. ‘Winning’ this election did not help that force emerge.”


GOPLifer and What the GOP is Missing from the 2014 Midterm Victory

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/20/1346224/-GOP-Columnist-The-VERY-Bad-News-FOR-THE-GOP-in-the-GOP-s-Midterm-Victory

BREAKING VIDEO: Police Lied. Mike Brown was killed 148 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV

Thu Nov 20, 2014 at 08:31 PM PST
BREAKING VIDEO: Police Lied. Mike Brown was killed 148 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV
by Shaun King

For 104 days, the police have lied and said Mike Brown was killed 35 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV. It was actually 148 feet.

This distance is essential to the defense and how Darren Wilson must demonstrate that he "reasonably feared for his safety." At the point in which Mike Brown ran half a football field away, how reasonable is it for an armed officer to fear anyone?

Below is the first video filmed from Canfield Drive showing the exact measurement between where Darren Wilson's SUV was parked and Mike Brown died. After that we methodically debunk the lie that Mike Brown was killed in close proximity to Darren Wilson's SUV.

Our starting point, which is 17 feet behind the driver's side window of Darren Wilson's SUV is this yellow fire hydrant next to the storm drain.



Our end point is 2943 Canfield. Notice the building number in the back of this photo below where Mike Brown's father and family members are standing over the exact location where Mike Brown was murdered. Mike Brown's family at 2943 on Canfield at the exact spot of Mike Brown's death



Watch us measure the distance below.



131 feet, 1 inch (Distance between the fire hydrant and where Mike Brown died)
+ 17 feet (distance between the fire hydrant and the driver's side door of Darren Wilson's SUV)
= 148 feet.

The St. Louis-area police have continued to advance this lie for over 104 days since Mike Brown was killed on Canfield Drive on the afternoon of August 9 in Ferguson, Missouri. Here we will methodically expose this lie and examine just why it's so important.

On this past Monday, Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in Missouri in anticipation for some level of unrest regarding a decision from the grand jury in the Darren Wilson case. Covering this decision, and the case in general, CNN authoritatively states that the Mike Brown was found 35 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV. Watch just the first 20 seconds of this video to see how Erin Burnett frames the case,



Where the Lie Began

On August 10, 2014, St. Louis County Police Chief John Belmar held his first press conference on the shooting of Mike Brown by Officer Darren Wilson of the nearby Ferguson Police Department. His force had been called in to take over the investigation for the much smaller local department. The shooting had occurred less than 24 hours earlier, and the tensions on the ground in Ferguson were already red hot and boiling over.

Six different witnesses on the scene claimed that Mike Brown was shot at repeatedly from behind before he turned around, faced Darren Wilson, verbally surrendered, and put his hands in the air. Wilson, having already shot at Mike Brown at least six times while he fled, then fired off a barrage of four quick shots at the surrendered Brown he was looking at face to face, killing him on the spot. With his lifeless body face down on the road, Mike Brown’s blood literally flowed down Canfield Drive for more than four hours. The shooting and the aftermath that evening, which included bringing police dogs to the scene, infuriated residents as never before, and the anger was spreading rapidly across St. Louis and into the nation.

When Chief Belmar sat down the next day to brief the press on his summary of the facts, he stated at 1:13 (and then even more emphatically at 6:01) in the video below, "The entire scene, from approximately the car door (of Officer Wilson) to the shooting, is, uh, about 35 feet."

See his video below.



At that time, when the chief said the "entire scene" was just 35 feet in distance from the "car door to the shooting," every observer accepted it as a negligible fact and thought little about it, instead zeroing in on why Darren Wilson stopped Mike Brown in the first place and why a police officer would shoot a young man who was surrendering with his hands up.

It turns, out, though, that the distance Mike Brown fled was not 35 feet, as was stated in the press conference and cited in hundreds of articles since. Nor was it 45 feet, or 75 feet, or even 95 feet, but approximately 108 feet away from Darren Wilson’s SUV. Below, you will find photos from the day of the murder, maps, infographics, and more to confirm for you that the distance was nearly 300 percent farther away than originally claimed by Chief Belmar and subsequently quoted as fact in almost every narrative of the case.

While the initial reporting of this distance from the chief could have been an error, albeit an egregious one, it seems clear now, after over 100 days of requests for the police to clarify this discrepancy have only produced silence, that it wasn’t an oversight, but a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts.

What reason would the chief have for so seriously understating the distance by more than 70 feet? Well, how far Mike Brown fled matters greatly, and the St. Louis County Police Department could have many reasons for purposely understating it. One doubts, though, that they expected to be caught telling this lie. When it was first told, while matters were tense in St. Louis and spreading on social media, nobody had any idea that this case would grip the nation and the world.

Without even using this space to dive into the actual shooting of Mike Brown, it appears that some base level misconduct can be suspected when the St. Louis County Police Department has repeatedly refused to address the discrepancy in distance.

When the police came out the morning after Mike Brown was killed and deliberately included the distance between the SUV and the shooting, it successfully created a very particular narrative. The arc of their initial story, magnified in importance by the absence of even one official report, is that Darren Wilson shot and killed a young man who, in a short distance from the SUV, posed him grave harm. How far Mike Brown actually fled, how far Darren Wilson chased him, and where each of them were in relation to each other and to the SUV, are facts of paramount importance. If Mike Brown fled over 100 feet away from Darren Wilson, it clearly suggests it Brown—unarmed, shot, missing a shoe, in lounge clothes—feared for his life and not the other way around.

Furthermore, police, in many cases, use the distance in which a suspect flees and the distance between them in an encounter, as evidence to prove they were reasonably afraid for their safety—which is required by law.

What follows is evidence to the contrary. Mike Brown fled at least 108 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV. If the police will lie about this fact, what else have they openly lied about? Did they present this false distance to the grand jury? Why does the media continue to advance this lie? Here are the facts.


Here is a rarely seen panorama of Canfield Drive moments after Mike Brown was killed. Few images better display that the distance was not a very short 35 feet than this one.


This is Darren Wilson's SUV. Where you see it here is exactly where he parked it to confront Mike Brown and Dorian Johnson for jaywalking. Out of sight in this image, to the left of the driver's side door, is Mike Brown's hat (shown in a later image below). Approximately 16 feet behind the SUV is Mike Brown's black sandal, which came off while he was running. Please notice the fire hydrant to the right of the SUV.


On the center left is Darren Wilson's SUV from the opposite angle. Notice the two orange cones next to the driver's side door. That's Mike Brown's red St. Louis Cardinals hat next to it.


Using this image, let's create starting line A. As effective landmarks, please notice the fire hydrant on the right and the sloping entrance into the apartments.


From the back of Darren Wilson's SUV, Brown fled over 100 feet down Canfield Drive. The exact location where Brown died is today marked by a memorial in the middle of the street.


This is ending line B. Mike Brown is the blurred figure on the ground. That is Darren Wilson, visibly uninjured in every image of him from that day, standing to the right. According to eyewitnesses Dorian Johnson, Tiffany Mitchell, and Piaget Crenshaw, Mike Brown turned around, faced Darren Wilson and his SUV, and put his hands in the air.


Mike Brown's family at 2943 on Canfield at the exact spot of Mike Brown's death


This map shows the exact location of 2943, the exact spot where Mike Brown was killed.


Using Google Maps, the approximate distance from the front of Darren Wilson's SUV to where Mike Brown was shot before falling down is actually 148 feet.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/20/1346374/-BREAKING-VIDEO-Police-Lied-Mike-Brown-was-killed-148-feet-away-from-Darren-Wilson-s-SUV

'Dangerous Situation' Reported At Florida State University

Source: Huffingtonpost

Florida State University officials issued an emergency alert on Wednesday night about a "dangerous situation" unfolding on campus.



On the FSU website, students and staff were urged to "seek shelter immediately, away from doors and windows."

HuffPost reached out to the Florida State University Police Department for more information, and was told that a statement would be issued soon. However, police reportedly told the Los Angeles Times that there was a gunman on the Tallahassee campus and the situation was unfolding.



Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/20/florida-state-university_n_6189810.html



This is a developing situation.

The Christmas Truce

Generally, I am against all things Christmas until after Thanksgiving. This time, however, I am going to ignore that personal rule. Please enjoy.

A Christmas ad for Sainsbury's is taking the internet by storm:



According to Wikipedia:

"The Christmas truce (German: Weihnachtsfrieden; French: Trêve de Noël) was a series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914, during World War I. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides—as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units—independently ventured into "no man's land", where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing. Troops from both sides were also friendly enough to play games of football with one another, in one of the truce's most enduring images..."






Open Letter to Democrats From a Disillusioned Young Voter

Open Letter to Democrats From a Disillusioned Young Voter
By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News
07 November 14

Dear Democrats,

Are you listening? President Obama says he hears us. He says that people don’t have a reason to show up to vote if the politicians they have to choose from don’t motivate them. He’s partially right. But that’s only part of a much larger problem. To all you would-be elected officials looking for my generation’s support at the polls, listen closely – get populist or get ready to lose bad.

2014’s low voter turnout was historic. Voter turnout actually hasn’t been this low since the 1940s. As Mother Jones pointed out, voter turnout for people under 30 was dismal. In this election, people like me only made up 12 percent of those who voted, while people aged 60 and older made up almost 40 percent of total voters. In 2012, when President Obama was re-elected and Congressional Democrats made gains in the House and Senate, millennials made up almost one-fifth of all voters, and voters 60 and older made up just 25 percent of the electorate, bringing us a little closer to a tie. It isn’t hard to see the difference – this year, Republicans steamrolled you, Democrats, because most of us stayed home and let our Fox-watching uncles and grandparents decide on who was going to represent everyone else.

So how do older people pick who runs Congress? Like every other voting bloc, they pick the ones who run on issues most important to them. And as Vox reported, data consistently shows that younger people want their tax dollars spent on education and job creation. Older voters want their money spent on Social Security and war. The Republicans who swept the U.S. Senate ran largely on fear campaigns over ISIS, promising to be more hawkish than their opponents in an eagerness to pour money and troops into Iraq and Syria to snuff out America’s newest boogeyman.

Contrast the unified Republican message with the profound silence from you Democrats on addressing the trillion-dollar student debt crisis, rampant inequality and underemployment, and your collective fear of openly embracing economic populism, and you cook up what we saw on Tuesday night. Older people showed up, highly motivated to elect war hawks. Younger people mostly stayed home, disillusioned with the only alternative on the ballot who didn’t even talk about the issues affecting our lives every day.

The few of us who did show up to vote largely did it to support state ballot initiatives that actually mattered in our daily lives. We still voted to raise the minimum wage in 4 states to a slightly more respectable amount, and to $15 an hour in San Francisco. We voted for a week of paid sick days in Massachusetts, and for marijuana legalization in three more states (okay, well, DC isn’t a state yet, but it definitely will be by the time we’re grandparents). We voted to turn nonviolent drug offenses from felonies into misdemeanors in California. We even boosted high voter turnout in Michigan for Gary Peters, a Democrat who made climate change – something we’ll have to confront long after the boomers are gone – his top issue. We just didn’t vote for Democrats who haven’t done anything for us since we voted for them in 2012, and who brazenly took our votes for granted this year.

Even though the Republicans have made it clear they won’t raise the minimum wage, legalize marijuana, or address climate change as long as they’re in power, they at least have a unified message that appeals to enough people who share their values. They can also communicate that message in a confident way. The Republican platform comes in easy-to-remember, tweet-sized sentences. We all know their buzzwords – “national security,” “family values,” “free markets.” That may translate to endless war, homophobia, and corporate feudalism for the better-informed, but for most people, those are catch phrases they can get behind.

You Democrats, on the other hand, looked pitiful in the year leading up to the midterms. You didn’t seem to stand for anything in particular, you just pointed the finger at the other guy, told us they were bad, and that you weren’t like them. That’s not enough. Take a risk, be bold. Get behind Elizabeth Warren’s 0.75 percent interest rate for student loans. Allow student debt to be abolished with bankruptcy. Push for single-payer healthcare, or at the very least a public health insurance option. Need some catchy buzzwords? Try “affordable education,” “good jobs,” and “healthy families.”

President Obama hit the nail on the head – we won’t show up and vote for you if you aren’t offering us anything real. If Democrats want to stay relevant, they’ll have to learn to stop taking us for granted and actually make an effort to get our votes. Simply banking on being the lesser evil and having that be enough won’t cut it any longer.

Carl Gibson, 26, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at carl@rsnorg.org, and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.


http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/26822-focus-open-letter-to-democrats-from-a-disillusioned-young-voter
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